Iraq, TotalEnergies close to signing accord on oil, solar projects – report

Flames emerge from flare stacks at Nahr Bin Umar oil field, north of Basra, Iraq September 16, 2019. (Reuters)

SULAIMANI (ESTA) — The Iraqi government and TotalEnergies SE are close to finalize an agreement that will trigger billions of dollars of investments aimed at boosting oil and gas production, according to Bloomberg News.

The French energy company will invest in the large Ratawi oil field in the southern province of Basra under the agreement, Bloomberg cited people familiar with the matter as saying.

The accord might be announced as soon as Sunday, the news outlet said.

TotalEnergies SE will also bring expertise in seawater injection to the region’s oil wells to maintain their production, the people told Bloomberg.

It will also help Iraq capture natural gas associated with several oil fields in the region, they said, noting that the fuel “could be used to feed power plants”.

Under the accord, the company will also build a “very large solar power plant”, according to the people.

In March, Oil Minister Ihsan Abdul Jabbar said Iraq was discussing a “giant” agreement with Total to build infrastructure installations, develop oil fields and produce gas.

He said the relationship with Total would be based on targeting low-carbon industry and capturing all flaring gas, Bloomberg reported. The company is also set to produce IGW of solar energy in the first stage, he added.

“The agreement is giant, and the volume of the investment exceeds $7 billion,” he added.

In January, the Iraqi oil ministry signed a memorandum of understanding with Total CEO Patrick Pouyanne on capturing natural gas and clean energy infrastructure.

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